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This Friday, February 12th, the staff of the San Pedro Sun will host their 4th annual Valentines Poetry Competition at the Blue Iguana Restaurant and Grille. Love is in the air as the staffers will recite the poems on live radio and among the diners and patrons of the Iguana grille. The Judging will be done by those that are present at the grille, so prizes are awarded on a non-bias way. Poems depicting heartbreak, love, and freindship are all in the running. Attached find the event flyer….

Love is in the Air

Event flyer.... everyone is invited to attend!

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The public is notified that the San Pedro Liquor Licensing Board will hold its General Meeting on Monday, January 11th and Tuesday, January 12th, 2010 at 9:00 a.m. at the Lion’s Den.

On Monday, January 11th all license holders with a Nite Club, Publican General and Publican’s Special licenses will be reviewed.

Meetings Schedule for Jan 11th and 12th

On Tuesday, January 12th all license holders with a Restaurant, Shop, Malt and Beer license will be reviewed, as well as new applications. All License holders are asked to be present or send a representative for this meeting.

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Tia Chocolate (The First Time – Republished from AmbergrisCaye.com)

Six years ago, I read of a national story writing competition in the newspaper. I always walked around with a notebook and pens to keep me occupied. Every time I travelled by bus for over half an hour, I had books to keep me occupied, observing and reporting on the passengers. So, I thought, why not? I certainly had a host of topics I could expound on. I noted the deadline, jotted down the methods of delivery, and promptly forgot about it.

 This weekend, I heard a friend say, “God told Belizeans, ‘go forth and procrastinate’.” It was perhaps the funniest and truest comment I’d heard, and reminded me so much of exactly what happened. I didn’t write anything for the month leading up to the deadline. Instead, I talked about how I would write something brilliant. I worked myself into a frenzy, but had nothing to show for it.

Exactly one day before deadline, I decided to write something up. I took my red, hardcover notebook, with unlined fresh white pages, stared for a moment, and started to scribble. This is what I wrote:

The thirteenth baby

They say that for every tear shed, a joy is celebrated elsewhere. In the Mai family, every tear was followed by another. Due to circumstances too difficult to comprehend, from her horrendous wedding night onwards, Ana’s life was eternal damnation and tears.

It was three o’clock in a Wednesday in 1968. The sun shone directly through the window of the makeshift kitchen. The rolling smoke from the firehearth danced around in the sunlight, making shapes and shadows wherever light hit. Silhouetted against this backdrop was Ana. She moved carefully around the hearth, stirring a big pot of beans that simmered on the crackling fire. With her free hand, she rolled an habanero pepper on some hot coals.

Every so often, she would arch her back slightly and groan softly. She was nine months pregnant and due anytime. Thus, she hurried with the evening meal, lest she risked going into labor and leaving her husband and other children hungry.

As she arched again, she felt a sharp pain and she knew that her time had come. After sending her oldest son, Henry, to fetch the midwife Luisa, she tried her best to hurry to the big house, to her room where she gave birth to all her children. Preoccupied with her contractions, and thoughts of her oldest daughter gone to help her father in the milpa, she failed to notice Irma, her other daughter, as she came out of the bushes by the toilet.

She failed to notice how pale and sweaty Irma was. She didn’t notice how she dragged her feet and hunched forward. She didn’t notice the thick braid of hair that trailed down her back. She didn’t notice how, occasionally, Irma would tug at the braid in vain, trying to loosen it, but lacking the energy or the patience to persevere.

She failed to notice anything. She was conscious only of her oncoming child. By five-thirty, Ana was through with her labor. As the child squalled in her arms, she joined him silently. Luisa, the midwife, had tears in her eyes too. For women of this small village, another child was just an extra mouth to feed. To stop having them would be wrong, for God, provider for all, deemed it so. There was no choice.

“Wa nex one Ana. Baroncito. Weh name yu wan give ah?” Luisa spoke more Creole than Ana, but Ana understood.

“Eluterio, como su abuelo,” she replied, her tears flowing freely.

“Numba thirteen. Eluterio Mai, su number.” She wiped Ana’s brow gently and prepared to leave. She wanted to tell her to stay in bed and rest for a few days, but she knew she would be wasting her breath. She left knowing that Ana would be up the next day, somehow caring for her brood and enduring another beating from her husband before nightfall, when another, different assault would be made on her body. She left thinking it strange that Paula, Ana’s eldest daughter, wasn’t around. Neither was Ana’s husband.

Luisa had left perhaps ten minutes when Emilio, Ana’s husband came in.

“Aha! Un baron. Que bueno.” He looked at his wife and smiled. “Māālo,” he told her in Mayan. “Xipal. Winik.” Good. A boy. A man. Taking the baby from her, he rudely pulled down its napkin and fondled his testicles. “Nohoch. Māālo winik.” Nohoch. Big. “Y mi comida?” (And where’s my food?)

Ana sighed and took the baby from his father. “En la cocina. Digale a Paula que te de la comida y que le de a los demas.”

Emilio nodded and left for the kitchen, hollering for Paula. Ana lay back hoping some food would be left for her.

After dinner was over, Paula came in to give her a small bowl of beans and some tortillas. Ana was horrified to see an ugly bruise on her eldest’s cheek. There were other marks and bruises over her skinny arms and legs. Looking into her child’s eyes, Ana saw despair and lost innocence.

“Irma esta enferma, Ma,” Paula said, averting her eyes quickly. (Irma is ill).

“¿Que tiene?” (What does she have?)

“No se. Tiene fiebre. Y un tejido duro.” (Don’t know. Fever. Tough braid.)

“¿Un tejido? ¿Adonde estaba?” Ana knew that if she panicked, she’d never recover.

“No se. La voy a buscar.” While Paula went to fetch her sister, Ana prayed. She knew that many people didn’t believe what she believed, and she hoped for once that they were right. She’d already lost one baby over it. “It” wasn’t worth it, whatever “It” was.

“¡Mama!” Irma came in, looking feverish, and her eyes wild.

“Bāāx uchi? Tūūx binech?” (What happened? Where did you go?)

“Monte. Bush, Mama.”

“¿Con quien?” Who with.

“Lee man. Viejito con sombrero.” Irma looked at the bundle in her mother’s arms, not seeing Ana’s look of horror. “Baby! Nene Ma!!” Suddenly, she was focused.

“Si Irma. Pretty baby.” Ana touched her daughter’s burning forehead and felt her heart sink. “¿Que te hizo el viejito?” (What did the old man do to you?)

“no se.” Irma shrugged and looked down. “Mama, soy mala? You vex?” (Am I bad? Are you mad?)

“No nene, no. Pero digame que hizo el viejito” (I am not mad baby, but tell me, what did the old man do to you”

“Tejido.” Irma turned to show her braid. “Mañana me va llevar a jugar con el.” (Tomorrow he’ll take me to play with him.)

“¿Te toco?” (Did he touch you?)

“No, solo mi pelo. Pero mañana dijo que vamos a jugar. I want to play Mama.” Irma shivered as if cold. “Frio.”

Ana felt a wail rise in her. The Tata Duende did exist, and not only in her mind. It had tainted her family. As if her curse wasn’t enough.

As Paula had been listening, her eyes widened with every word Irma said, and she unconsciously trailed her hands over the bruises on her legs and face and arms. She felt so dirty. Irma seemed so dirty. She wanted to bathe.

“Paula.”

“¿Si Mama?”

“Bathe she. Ojas de oregano y ojas de rosas en agua caliente*. Chocó. Hot, hot. ¿Me oyes?”

“Si Mama.”

“Tu bañas con aceite y ojas de rosa.”

“Por que?”

“Te vas a sentir major.” (You will feel better)

Ana wanted to hug Paula like she held her baby. She knew that no amount of hot water and oil and rose leaves would cleanse her mind, or wash away the sorrow coming their way. Nothing would make it better.

As her two babies left to bathe, she held her thirteenth baby close. Maybe he would replace a mouth instead of becoming another one to feed. Talvez. Dios trabaja en maneras muy misteriosos. (God works in mysterious ways)

*Not an actual remedy.

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Residents of Ambergris Caye came out enmasse to witness the 4th Annual Boat Parade over the night black carpet of the Caribbean Sea. Donned with xmas lights and decorations, and even Santa Claus, the event drew hundreds of people excited to see the floatilla of brightly colored boats and yachts. Geared at spreading holiday cheer into the homes of residents, it definately brought the christmas spirit out of most that stood and watched in awe.

This years boat parade saw the participation of about 8 to 10 boats, some more visible than others. Kudos to the organizers and supporters for yet another magical night of christmas cheer! Happy holiday everyone! Images were taken by Ambergris Property. Look out for our Boat Parade video, to be posted shortly!

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The challenge is on. Dock Street Gallery behind La Playa now has the Friends of the Humane Society calendar. $20. BZ All money goes to the animals. Free art photo card with your purchase. Cards are prints of my past paintings, blank inside. perfect for framing or sending to a friend. All my friends in the U.S., t…his calendar will will pay for the feeding and all medical for the stray and sick animals on the island of Beautiful San Pedro! We can ship. Above find a few preview pages.

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reward for info on Jim Jenson

reward for info on Jim Jenson

Any information leading to the arrest and charge of Jenson, is asked to call the nearest Police Station!

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What a catch!

What a catch!

Local San Pedrano Abner ‘Abbie’ Marin known bartender turned tour guide is being featured as “Glimmer Man” in the New York based Magazine entitled This is Fly, a newly launched online magazine. This is Fly completely drowns out all the fishy stereotypes and drops a whole new angle of fishing. Written by Wil Flack, the story portrays Abbie as one of the, if not ‘the finest bone fisherman on the planet’.

bone fishing on the flats of Ambergris Caye
bone fishing on the flats of Ambergris Caye

With guided experience from his father Carlos Marin, Abbie has developed a knack for the fishing trade, something not anyone can do as it requires much skill. A well written and captivating article, Wil Flack boasts to have known Abbie for about 10 years. Flack recalls a love for the beaches and as the story states, […No one executes like this guy and if you have any doubts, go fish with him! When you cannot make the shot, give him the rod, stand back and take notes. I have witnessed it a thousand times and will likely see it thousands more because this perfection lives at 18 degrees north…] To read this entire feature story on “Glimmer Man”, be sure to log on to www.thisisfly.com and browse thru pages 55 to 67!

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